Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid

This is the Wacom CintiqCompanion Hybrid. It is as its name suggests. It is a Wacom drawing tablet as well as a regular touchscreen Tablet PC with Android as its operating system. Wacom does have a Windows 8 version as well, known as just the Cintiq Companion, but for me, Android is the optimal choice. Granted, Photoshop will work on the Windows 8 version, but again this tablet doubles as a drawing tablet for your PC, so you have access to all the great tools that Photoshop has as well as access to all the android tools such as Sketchbook and others.

I have worked with Wacom for sometime and it truly is a godsend for any serious artist. Using a mouse to draw is all but useless and the results are often crude and sloppy. Not that people haven’t mastered it and created some very impressive works but it is still like drawing with a brick no matter how you slice it. Working any extended length of time with a mouse is surely going to result in some pain – not so with a drawing tablet.

I have the Wacom Intuos 4 drawing tablet and it gives you a familiar service as well as a pen that just feels so much more natural and comfortable in your hands, especially after hours of painting. You can switch out nibs to give you a different feel: a pencil, marker, and paint brush, and there is even a pen that acts like an airbrush. I should also add that I have been working with the same Wacom Intuos 4 for years and it is still going strong, and it has had its fair share of beatings. I do not have a case for it. So, not only is it not cheap in its price but also its usefulness and durability. It’s a fantastic piece of hardware.

But even drawing with my Wacom Intuos 4 proves disjointing at times since you are looking at one surface and drawing on another. It still outweighs the mouse by far though and I highly recommend even these types of drawing tablets but it could be better and that’s where this little beauty comes in, the Cintiq. It doubles as a second monitor so you can view your work as you apply brush to tablet. The companian goes even further and doubles as a tablet PC with Android. Now, that is awesome! I have yet to work with one of these, but I’m sure it is a delight to work with. But with its $1500 plus price tag, It’ll be awhile before I can get my hands on one, but it is in my future. If you have one, please share your thoughts on it; my readers and myself would appreciate it very much. Thanks!

Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid

Escape from Lion’s Arch Feb. 18th

The creators of Guild Wars 2 has another big event in-store for us on the 18th of February. The last event was a simple Christmas theme with winter games in Lion’s Arch. Presents fell from the sky and littered the lands with goodies – they’ve always been the festive types celebrating in game holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and others, usually within Lion’s Arch walls. Before that, they destroyed an entire area with poisonous plants and a large poisoning plant like tower coming up from the deeps to house the living world’s arch nemesis, Scarlet. It was a huge change to the world taking out a small underwater village that will probably never be seen again, and its effects were felt across all of Tyria. After the tower was defeated, things half way returned to normal with the exception of the ruin left from the massive plant tower, workers slowly chopping away and disposing of it over time. It is dead now and the area all but barren. They do this often, changing the world in different ways to keep things fresh and to further the story of the living world, but this 18th, this time it is different. This time, Scarlet and her minions are going after Lion’s Arch and from the title, “Escape from Lion’s Arch,” they must succeed at at least to some degree.

Normally, Lion’s Arch has always been a safe haven for all. It was always bustling with traders and vendors. It has a fully functioning and stable economy. What is to happen to the economy if it is overcome by Scarlet? What is to happen to the powerful genie at its center? The precursors for enchanted weapons are made there, what is to happen to those? It’ll be interesting to see.

There is always Divinities Reach, which is were I spend most of my time anyway, where there are banks, vendors (some found nowhere else), a trading post, and a crafting area, but there’s no Fountain there, no genie. This will make enchanted weapons even more difficult to come by. Either way, it will be interesting to see as always.

Below is a recap of the world events so far and a teaser to this next event. Enjoy!

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

I wanted to share a trailer and talk a bit about this game but while I did share the trailer some time ago now, there’s not much to say. It is a lot like the first one except with a 2.5D twist. Your movement is limited to a plane. So, while the visuals are 3D, you’ll only move about on two axises. It is said to play like a boat on an ocean. Still, it looks like good fun, especially multiplayer. Enjoy the trailer!

Zombeer by Moonbite! Another Greenlit game on Steam and it looks great!

You’ll often hear me complain about first person shooters as a long worn out style of game play, an overused cliché that’s bloated the market to a near bust. They have all but lost their fun factor for me in recent years, especially those ultra-realistic war simulating Call of Dookie wannabes, but that’s not to say it cannot be used in new creative ways with new artistic art styles that breath life back into the genre and that’s where a good team of collaborative artists, designers, and writers makes all the difference. Zombeer is not just another first person shooter. It has a unique art style by Tucho Fernandez Calo, a fantastic artist, thats work is uniquely and menacingly distorted yet satirically caricatured and fun. It’s engine has a look reminiscent of Bioshock. It’s gritty. It’s nasty. It’s grotesque. it’s awesome!

Art by Tucho

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miss

Not to gloat but it reminds me of my own style of caricatures – except much much better, of course. You can find more of his work at Game Artist dot Net forums here

Zombeer by Moonbite has been coined as a “first-person-survival-horror-comedy-shooter” – that’s a mouth full. I prefer just calling it ballz-to-the-wall fun. We need less realism in games and more fun. It is suppose to set in a dark future where a zombie virus has turn the locals into hideously formed brain munching undead. Another overused cliche – but a fun one. I’m all about fun and it does sound like a lot of fun, dark and witty fun.

zombeerthegame.com

It’s been greenlit by the Steam community so it will be available on Steam – and Linux? – soon.
Greenlit!

What happened to one fair shake deserves another, Ubuntu!?

So, as it seems, Steam has dropped Ubuntu for Debian in regards to their SteamOS. Supposedly, Ubuntu needs money for the use of their system but don’t pay it when you support an app for their system. That’s real nice of ya, Ubuntu – someone supports you but you don’t return the favor; however, as I mentioned, Steam still officially supports Ubuntu for their Steam Client, so gaming on Ubuntu still has a chance. They will not be using Ubuntu as their base for their OS is all.

As I mentioned, it seems the reasons were once again money but honestly the “why” is not important to me. I just want to concern myself with what the implications are for such a move and not dwell on the “why”; although, the rumors I hear leaves a sour taste in my mouth regarding Ubuntu and their business practices. If you wish to know why and see what I saw, go here .

So, what are the implications? Does this spell doom for Linux gaming? I don’t think so. Valve seems determined and are certainly capable of pulling this off. If anybody is capable, it is Valve. They already have a strong library of games and supporters. Some may be a bit worried by this but I think options are what makes Linux beautiful and options is what we’ll get with this move.

I honestly don’t find this to be a hindrance at all. Sure, early on, it will require more work and engineering on the part of Valve but think of the libraries that will be available for Debian and it’s offspring, and the amount of work it would take – or not take – to port those over to other Debian based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, Knoppix, 64 Studio, and others. It wouldn’t be such a leap for them to support more debian flavors and either way, games being made for any Linux distribution is good for Linux as a whole, and good for games.

They have their work cut out for them: “Still better than consoles”

Those of you who know me well, know how a feel about gaming and locking down the code on proprietary hardware run by cooperate greed does little to motivate innovation and risk taking in game design; hence, the flood of ultra-realistic first person shooters and little in the way of just old fashion fun games… What happened to just making games fun!? How fun a game is is no longer a factor in game development in such a system, money is. I hear that all the time in class after class – I’ve been going to school for game design for a couple years now for my bachelors. This sort of atmosphere stifles gaming innovation. That is the biggest reason the funnest games are coming out of indie corners anymore – or at least a majority of the funner games are. There is no denying that; just look at KSP, Minecraft, and others. They were born out of the freedom to just make a fun game and not money and yet, in the end, they made plenty. People want fun games. Here, Nixie Pixel, an avid Linux gamer, names a few of your favorite Linux games:

So, whatever happens with Steam and no matter what distro they decide to go with, they are going with freedom and freedom to make fun games and freedom for anyone to make fun games and this is good for gaming – no matter the outcome. Now, all we can do is either sit back and wait and see what happens or we can jump right in their and make something ourselves; Linux gives us this option – this freedom. No waiting for an SDK or developer package or investing tons of money into a package to make games, we already have it – Linux. It’s free. Go get it. Go make something! You may find it on the Steam Machine someday. Jump into the SDL and OpenGL code and make something. Not a deveopmer but love games? Well, there are plenty on Linux already. Maybe you read a post of mine yesterday about a little 8-bit gem called “Manos: The Hands Of Fate”; a great platformer going back to gaming’s 8-bit roots. It’s a fun game and I suggest you try it. Linux has a lot of great game but I have a strong feeling there will be many more to come. Anyways, I’ve babbled on long enough, go make/play something, Linux Gaming FTW!

Good fun with the Linux game Solar Flux:

Solar Flux look fun? Here’s a link to go pick it up:

The following links are the SteamOS and one of their Machines by Alienware! Awesome!
http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/
http://www.alienware.com/Landings/steammachine/

Raspberry Pi – Take One

The Raspberry Pi really is the best thing since sliced bread, and roughly the same size too. A credit card sized fully featured computer is what it is. I can get lost for hours playing with this thing. I enjoy programming the Raspberry and even have some ideas for developing a retro arcade with one of mine but there are many ways to use it. RaspBMC can turn it into an entertainment system with a library of movies and music to play. You can use it for a lot of hacking projects, one person has sent theirs in space on a weather balloon. Not a techy? Well, you can just as easily use it as an affordable portable computer too and at 35 dollars, it is perfect for children and a good way for them to learn about computing. In fact, it is a good way for anyone to learn computing. I urge anyone to give it a go, especially if you like geeky sort of things. I’ll provide some good reading material too when I find out how it is done. Here is my newer Raspberry in its PiBow case. I have a matching cable on the way and will update you when I have more to show :)

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Manos!

Platformers – even mere 8-bit ones – are alive and well. Check out Manos! The Hands of Fate!

Manos: The Hands of Fate the game

You may remember the MST3K episode on this particular move. A hilarious show. You can see that below.

Honestly, while the show was funny making fun of this infamously bad movie, I didn’t think the movie was so bad. It had good strong characters but the implementation was bad – and the acting – the acting was terrible. But, that said, it certainly isn’t the worst movie ever. I wouldn’t even vote it in the top ten. I can think of worse, a lot worse. Anyways, the game is awesome. enjoy!

Stacks and stacks…

I was building “Stack-based memory” for my Minecraft “redstone” computer before I ever knew how it was used by the hardware or software and hence, I built it wrong.
Look to the following video and I’ll explain where I went terribly wrong with this computer and why it must be scrapped and redone from the bottom up:

As you can see from the video, the memory is sent in from the bus at the bottom of the video but the selectors are on the opposite end, at top. On a stack, an instruction is entered and it then moves over for the next, like stacking papers, but upon removing the instruction, you must remove it from the top of the stack not the bottom like I did here.

Repairing it is just not an option. The work it would take would be equivalent of starting over and it is probably best that we do since we have learned much and can add more registers and perhaps even some debugging too. That’s all I have now in regards to the redstone computer and this is why I haven’t added any videos on the subject for a while. I messed up – but I’ll be back at it soon. My first responsibility now days is my schooling, of course, but soon. Look here for future updates on this computer.